Indian space agency ISRO, managed today to deliver to orbit next Resourcesat class satellite. PSLV rocket reached orbit with Resourcesat-2A satellite in the morning hours after launch from Satish Dhawan Space Center.

This mission covered delivering weighing 1225 kg Resourcesat-2A into Sun Synchronous Orbit on altitude of 817 km. Launch was planned as seventh Indian space mission in 2016 and sixth flight of PSLV in this year. Mission was planned to start from first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center at 04:54 UTC.

Weather conditions at Satish Dhawan were quite good. It was raining but wind was not strong enough to consider postponing the launch. Managing team and flight director gave green light and finally at 04:54 UTC rocket started to rise over the launch pad. All six boosters and core stage were working nominally (additional boosters were ignited at T+25″) pushing the rocket with payload into correct trajectory towards South. At T+45″ rocket reached altitude of 5 km and at T+1′ rocket reached speed of 3600 km/h. Twelve seconds later rocket was on altitude of 30 km and still was gradually increasing its speed after releasing four from six boosters. Last pair of strap on boosters separated at T+1’32” on altitude of 60 km. At that moment rocket almost doubled its speed and reached over 7000 km/h. First stage separated at T+1’50” and second stage was ignited normally fraction of second later. Payload fairing separated at T+2’30” and one minute later rocket was already on altitude of 220 km flying with speed of over 10000 km/h. At T+4’21” second stage was cut off and separated letting to ignite third stage one second later. With third stage Resourcesat-2A reached altitude of 590 km and was flying with speed of around 20000 km/h at T+8′. Finally at T+8’43” fourth stage separated and started its engine twelve seconds later. At that moment satellite was on altitude of 680 km and fourth stage begun rising orbit to 817 km. Fourth stage performed flawlessly and helped in reaching correct altitude already at T+14’36”. Satellite was at that moment over 3500 km to South from Satish Dhawan. After reaching altitude of 826 km fourth stage stabilize flight and prepared for separation. At T+17’54” satellite separated successfully.

PSLV XL is modified, larger version of regular PSLV. It is long for 44 m and equipped with six boosters rocket with mixed solid and liquid propulsion. Boosters are bigger comparing to PSLV. They are called PSOM-XL and are equipped in bigger motors (1 m diameter and length at 13.5 m) with 30% more solid fuel (12000 kg).  Four of them are ignited on the before start, additional two (added for stabilization) are ignited after first 25 seconds of flight. Rocket weighs 320000 kg and is able to lift 1425 kg to GTO orbit. Central core with four stages is identical as core of PSLV. First stage is powered by solid fueled (HTPB) S139 engine, which is able to provide 4800 kN of thrust. Second stage is equipped with one liquid fueled Vikas engine (N2O4/UDMH) and providing 799 kN of thrust. Third stage is again equipped with solid fueled propulsion – HPS3 engine generates 240 kN of thrust. Fourth stage is powered by two L-2-5 engines with thrust at 15.2 kN burning liquid MMH/MON propellant.

Resourcesat-2A is representing latest technology in resource monitoring satellites. Designed by ISRO (with engagement of ISRO Satellite Center in Bengaluru, which designed supporting electrical and mechanical subsystems) satellite is based on IRS-1 bus. Equipped with two deployable solar arrays will operate for at least five years on SSO orbit with average altitude of 817 km. Mass of the satellite is 1225 kg with propellant. Main equipment are four imaging devices.  LISS-III is offering 23.5 m resolution, it covers 4 bands  with 140 km swath. LISS-IV imaging device has resolution of  5.8 m, it is covering 3 bands and offers 70 km swath. Two AWiFS units are able to take images with resolution of 56 m using 4 bands, with swath of 740 km.